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In Work Support

What is it?

Having a job used to mean that you were unlikely to be in poverty. However, with zero-hour contracts and minimum wages and the increases in living costs now mean that many more working people are now classed as in work poverty. The cost of living crisis

Research by the Glasgow Centre for Population and Health measured the number of people in poverty within households where at least one person is in employment as a proportion of all those living in poverty. They reported that between 2017 - 2020 in work poverty had increased to 61%, an increase from 48% calculated for the period 1999 - 1999.

In-work poverty | The Glasgow Indicators Project (

Many people believe that when they start work that they are no longer entitled to any additional support. For many this is not always the case. The following information provides details of support available to those in low pay and how you can get it.

When you start work

If you are in receipt of Social Security Benefits, then you must tell the Jobcentre when you start work. You can tell your work coach or phone 0800 169 0310.

If you are a householder and in receipt of Housing benefit and or Council Tax Reduction you must tell the council. The fastest, easiest and most secure way to report a change is by using our Electronic Change in Circumstances facility. If you do not already have access to your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction details, you will first need to register for self service. This will only take a few minutes and will give you access to a range of information relating to your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction application. If you need help submitting a change electronically, we have a   guide to Electronic change in circumstances (PDF) [361KB] (opens new window) .

In-Work Benefits

Depending on the number of hours you are working and the amount of wages you receive, you may be entitled to in-work benefits, these include:

  • Free school meals
  • School uniform grant
  • Educational Maintenance Allowance
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Scottish Child Payment
  • Child Benefit
  • Universal Credit

Further information can be found in this document (PDF) [517KB]

Universal Credit (Jobcentre)

You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you're on a low income.

Universal Credit helps to ensure people are better off in work than on benefits by:

  • Removing the limit of the number of hours someone can work each week
  • Simplified Work Allowance
  • Reducing Universal Credit payment gradually as earnings increase, so people won't lose all their benefits at once if they're on a low income.

Universal Credit replaces the following benefits and tax credits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Homeowners may eligible for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). SMI is paid as a loan which you will need to pay back when the property is sold or ownership is transferred
  • Mortgage Interest Run On is extra money you can get towards your housing costs, for 4 weeks, if certain other benefits are stopping because you're:
    • returning to work full-time
    • working more hours
    • earning more money


Support to claim Universal Credit (UC)

Face to face Universal Credit support is currently available by appointment in selected libraries. This service is appointment based and can be booked by speaking to library staff or calling the freephone number 0808 169 9901.




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You can also get online support by going to

Help with Childcare costs

You can get up to 85% of childcare costs paid back to you. The maximum amount a month is:

  • £646.35 for one child
  • £1,108.04 for 2 or more children

Apply on-line at or phone the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644.

Support for work If you have a disability

Access to Work gives support for people with disabilities or long term health conditions, entering or retaining employment. This programme is flexible and is broken down into elements, each offering a specific type of help, for example:

  • travel within work
  • special aids and equipment
  • support worker, including interpreters.
  • travel to work
  • testing area

Depending on individual circumstances, Access to Work may provide support under more than one of these elements.

Apply on-line at or call 0800 121 7479

In-Work Travel

Traveling to your job can be expensive and these costs eat into your available money. There are some discounts available from local bus companies and you will save money if you're able to afford to purchase weekly or monthly tickets. Some employers offer a salary sacrifice scheme that allows you to buy travel tickets with the cost deducted straight from your wages.

Some employers also offer "Cycle to Work Schemes", which is a UK Government tax exemption initiative, introduced to promote healthier journeys to work and to reduce environmental pollution. It allows employers to Loan cycles and cyclists safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit.

If you are under 22 you are entitled to free bus travel. Further information on how to apply can be found here.

When you get a job ask your work coach for the latest support available for you. The levels of support change frequently however there is usually a scheme for free or discounted travel on the bus and the train.

Flexible Support Fund (Jobcentre)

The Flexible Support Fund (FSF) is issued on top of other benefits (like Universal Credit) and can be used to help pay for things like childcare, uniforms and work tools - as long as these things help you to get a job. Ask at your local Jobcentre.

In- Work Advice

The council's Glasgow Helps Team has partnership agreements that can offer you free, confidential and impartial advice on:

  • Food and utilities
  • Income maximisation
  • Employment 
  • Mental Health
  • Physical health
  • Digital inclusion
  • Transport/mobility
  • Housing and homelessness
  • And many other issues

You can get in touch with Glasgow Helps by contacting them on 0141 276 1185 or  use their referral form available at Glasgow Helps - Glasgow City Council

If you need help with money worries, benefits or debt issues, you can get free advice at Money Advice Service:


When you're out of work the idea of returning to a new job can be hard. Change isn't easy and that's why there is training available to support you.

It's quite normal that being unemployed has affected your confidence. You might feel nervous about meeting new people or worry that you don't have the skills your employer needs. You could have concerns about managing your money or balancing work and childcare.

You can get help to overcome any worries you might have about returning to work so you can feel confident about developing your career. You won't be judged and will be helped to progress to a positive future.

There is a group of providers who can offer you a wide range of training that can support you in work and help get you to a higher level.

Training courses
Your local library has training courses on improving your skills with reading, writing or numbers, learning English, using a computer and learning how to use computer software such as Word or Excel.

Glasgow Life Libraries
Phone 0141 287 4350


Glasgow's three colleges provide a range of flexible study options and opportunities to improve your skills for employment, gain additional qualifications and help you reach your full potential in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. These can be undertaken on a part-time or evening study basis, and in some cases, online.

To find out more about your college study options, use the contact information on the next page to email a query, visit a college campus or explore your study options through the college websites. All of the colleges provide a range of student support services, including advice and guidance, additional learning support and funding support dependent on student circumstances.

Glasgow Kelvin College
East End Campus, 2 Haghill Road, Glasgow, G31 3SR
Springburn Campus, 123 Flemington Street, Glasgow, G21 4TD
West End Campus, 75 Hotspur Street, Glasgow, G20 8LJ
Easterhouse Campus, 1200 Westerhouse Road, Glasgow, G34 9HZ
Phone: 0141 630 5000

City of Glasgow College
City Campus, 190 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G4 0RF
Riverside Campus, 21 Thistle Street, Glasgow, G5 9XB
Phone: 0141 375 5555

Glasgow Clyde College
Cardonald Campus, 690 Mosspark Drive, Glasgow, G52 3AY
Anniesland Campus, 19 Hatfield Drive, Glasgow, G12 0YE
Langside Campus, 50 Prospecthill Road, Glasgow, G42 9LB
Phone: 0141 272 9000

Last modified on 22 November 2023

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